I have been in school for a quite a long time. I did my undergrad at Queen’s University in Life Science. I later tried to complete a graduate degree in Montreal but I wasn’t successful. This was partly because I became mental ill.
I did not have much luck in graduate school. I was in the program for nearly four years. And in those four years, I didn’t produce a lot of results. Almost all of my research projects failed. No results, no papers. This caused me a lot of stress. I think that the stress was the trigger for my psychosis.
I started believing that my lab coworkers were trying to frame me for a crime. I was so sure that they were checking my website viewing history, and were watching my every move. I also thought other people, like security guards at the supermarket, were closely watching me. I even believed that the security cameras were following me around. At one point, I thought the other students in the lab were undercover police officers. All these beliefs made me extremely anxious, and fearful even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.
It was close to Remembrance Day when I took the train back to Kingston, my hometown. I went home as I thought my mother was suicidal and I wanted to be there for her. There was a moment on train when I thought they were going to kill me. I think it was after I had gone to the washroom, and I saw one of the male staff close to the door of train car. He seemed like he was beckoning me to follow him. I made a few steps forward and could hear the loud sound of the train wheels moving along the rail. The door to the train must have been opened. I was terrified that if I had come any closer he would have pushed me off the train.
I was finally hospitalized in Kingston a few days after coming home. I spent two weeks in the hospital and I was put on Risperdone, Olanzapine, Clonazepam, and Wellbutrin. After my release, I withdrew from my graduate studies.
I suffered from anxiety and depression for months after my discharge. I was placed into an Early Psychosis Intervention Program, where I was seen by a psychiatrist and a social worker. This was when I was given the proper diagnosis of paranoid schizophrenia.